Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Word...Its Wednesday

This word has a bit of a story behind it, also a good vocabulary builder. We all know someone who defines this word for us.
lachrymose (LAH-krih-mose) adjective. Describes someone who cries at the drop of a hat.
Vivian is the most lachrymose person I have ever met, she was just crying about the new Pampers commercial.
Do you have your most lachrymose friend in mind? If you can't think of one, well my friend, then you are the crier in your circle of friends. I have quite a few lachrymose friends, and I swear it is not me making them cry. For years I had prided myself on being a stoic, tough as nails, very little made me cry. Sure, I felt sad at appropriate things and a tear or two may have welled up, but not a big cryer. Then I joined a moms group and met the lachrymose ladies. Honestly, happy or sad, tears at every group meeting. Give one of these gals a card and you better have a hankie handy too. I mocked, and then I became one of them. Now I often laugh to tears, hear a moving sermon and tear up, cry for others lost loved ones (even if I do not know the loved one) get it, I have become what I had once mocked, a lachrymose lady. Tell me about your second cousin's dog that died...I will cry. The barrista is going through a divorce...tears in the coffee shop. Call me a sissy if you want, I cry because I care, and I am still tough as nails.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Every now and then (about every 6 months) I get the idea to do something crafty. No, not crafty like knock over a liquor store or steal a car. Crafty as in some hand done craft. I generally get the idea from a Family Fun magazine, or some Martha Stewart article. Martha says its "so simple"... I say "bulls**** Martha, complete and utter bulls***". Yet, I have found no way to tame this urge to craft, even though I have very little craftability. I am like salmon swimming upstream to spawn, its is a primal urge. My latest endeavor was to make a tulle head band and/or tutu in festive red, white, and blue. Not for me, for a very special young girl who has more faith in my craftiness (a misguided youthful faith). Armed with my torn out magazine page I went to the fabric and craft superstore (seriously, two levels of all manner of raw materials for the true crafter). I walk in and immediately know that I am a fish out of water. I am always out of place in the craft superstore, so I immediately seek out the nearest sales associate to help me find the items I need (only three items, easy right?). The competent craft sales lady looks at the torn sheet of paper and says, "You will find all of these things upstairs in Notions". Notions? What? I have not a notion what a "notion" might be. Clearly I am having notions of crafting grandeur. Nonetheless, I make my way to level two of the craft emporium, and sure enough there is a sign hanging from the ceiling labeled "Notions". Browsing this section I do find one of the items I need, but not the correct colors of 6" tulle ribbon, a key item for the project. In yet another walk of shame, I find an upstairs sales associate, show her my sad, wrinkled, torn out magazine page and tell her the colors of tulle ribbon I need. She informs me I will have to get the tulle off a bolt of tulle in the fabric department. At this point the magnitude of this project has fully bathed my spirit, in complete dread. I am a whole lot of things, but "craft lady", is not one. At that moment I became fully okay with that fact. The thought of cutting six inch strips of tulle for the headbands or tutus is like torture to me, in fact waterboarding sounds pretty okay in comparison.

There will no tulle headbands or tutus for the 4th of July for this family. I have declared my independence from being crafty and notions of craftiness. Other people are better at crafts and I bet those people do not break into a cold sweat when they enter the craft emporium. If you are a gifted crafter, knitter, cross-stitcher, or jewelry maker; I salute you. And if you endeavour to make any tulle headbands or tutus, feel free to drop one off at my house.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Laugh or Cry

Sometimes you just have to decide when you wake up if you are going let the day make you laugh, or make you cry. It is best to make this choice before your feet hit the floor. Here is why. This past winter it was cold and snowy, I was in my faux-single parent mode (glad that is over), the alarm had just been slapped for the last time...I made the choice to have a "laughing day". I sat up, put my tootsies on the floor and my left foot landed in a cold pile of cat vomit. This is why you have to make the choice while still laying in bed, you are still safe. Being of a stubborn nature (thanks Dad), I did laugh. I also put together a tidy string of swear words directed toward the cat that was lazily sleeping on my bed. Laugh or cry. Each day seems to bring countless opportunities for both. If you are fortunate sometimes you can laugh, until you cry...that is the best. Other times life will throw you something (or multiple things) to cry about and there is nothing else you can do, try as you might. That is when God seems to insert a friend or a sister or a brother that somehow just knows what to say or not say that can make the situation okay or at least bearable. And if you are blessed you will end up laughing, after crying...and that just heals the hurt. Here is to hoping you find laughter today...even if your feet find cat vomit.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Have you ever noticed that a new picture frame can completely change the way a picture or print looks? Just a new design of a wood, plastic, or metal frame can make something look new, fresh, and lovely. Sometimes it seems as if life is telling me its time to "reframe", not the photos and prints in the living room, but situations and relationships. Lately my aging mini-van has been giving me fits with minor issues. The original battery gave up the ghost last week, naturally as I was trying to leave a parking lot with load of groceries. The sway bars needed replacing two weeks prior to that, and the latest fit from "Mini" is some cooling system related thing. Last night I stewed over this latest "betrayal" from Mini. Sometime around 3 AM I realized that I needed to "reframe" this situation, or face being overtired, crabby, and miserable to be around. Mini has been my loyal, true blue companion for a long time. I have never been really into cars. If they start and get me where I need to go an back, that is awesome. Really, Mini is a fabulous vehicle. She has taken Girl Scouts to camp, family trips to Myrtle Beach and other places, driven carpools, grocery runs, emergency room runs, and so many other adventures. So I choose to reframe these mechanical problems as "medical issues" and not be annoyed at the inconvenience, but instead minster to these "medical issues" properly. Who would get mad a person, especially an aging person, for getting sick? Well, a big jerk of a person might. Not being a big jerk, I will compassionately care for my mostly metal sidekick. Having my attitude adjusted, the picture looks so much better. What can you reframe in your life?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Word...Its Wednesday

Today you get two, yes two, words for the price of reading on post. My generosity even surprises me sometimes. These two terms are linked for me as "snobby literary" words. Its is always good to have a few snobby literary words in your back pocket, or in you fashionable clutch purse, to toss out. It makes you look clever, and others look confused, but impressed. So enjoy these...and use them in good health. Remember if you use a word three times, properly, then it is yours (forever).

Kafkaesque- (adjective) of, characteristic of, or like the writings of Kafka; specifically: sureal, nightmarish, or confusingly complex.

It was a Kafkaesque trip through the grocery store with three tired and hungry children.

Svengali- (noun) (for the evil hypnotist in du Maurie's Trilby) A person who attempts to dominate another, generally with evil or selfish intent.

Sonja's latest boyfriend seemed like a very good catch, until he made off her credit card and new car, once again she had found herself a Svengali. Poor Sonja.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Go Me!

It is my two week anniversary in the blog-o-sphere! Yes, I am counting it like a high school romance. Each week so special it needs to be celebrated. Okay, with the high school romances sometimes weeks were really the only appropriate measure of time, but that is whole different post, that will not likely be written. In two weeks I have learned to be a true follower of other blogs and I believe you can even see some of the blogs I "follow". I am sure that this is nothing like stalking, and if it is, they were asking for it. Here is what has suffered because of the blog. My journal, yes I have neglected putting pen to paper as often as I did before. The journal writing is very separate from the blog writing...and the twain shan't meet. How is that for flowery literary speak? The hardest thing has been not airing the family day to day stuff. I am blessed to live with very funny and quotable people, but my solemn vow was to keep them out of my "crazy" blog. My sister, Betsy, who does not live with me, has given me her blessing to include her in any posts. She is getting married in a few there is lots a material on her. She is also very humorous, and a bit of a loose cannon (in a good way, not a crazy way). My parents really do not get on the internet too much, unless it is to order from Cabela's or Coldwater Creek. I have decided they are also fair game, whether they know it or not. Caribou Girls and other social friends...I will keep you as "blind items" when writing unless I get consent, not written consent, just a "whatever, that is fine". Looking forward to many more weeks of writing posts. Happy two week anniversary readers...lets celebrate with cup of coffee and a cyber- (((hugs ))).

Thursday, June 17, 2010

How "Trying"...

(Due to sexual content--well mention of sex--this post is not advised for those who have not had "the talk" or made it though the 6th grade module of Health and Human Growth)
Today I shall lament on one of great pet peeves of my adulthood; when a couple announces they "are trying". If you are not familiar with this, the "trying", I speak of is trying to conceive a child. Love kids, love when people tell me they are going to actually have a baby, but please spare me the lead up. I am not a prude. I just do not particularly care to know that people, specific people, are trying to be "fruitful" with their sexual relations. One assumes and hopes that couples engage in regular sessions of intimate activities. That is normal, good, healthy and hopefully a lot of fun for all involved. HOWEVER, let us keep these things assumed among friends. Nothing kills a good BBQ or other social occasion than people openly announcing "we are sexually active and looking to populate the planet". I often want to excuse myself when people say "we are trying", clearly I am thwarting their efforts by "trying" to enjoying the appetizers in their kitchen. By the way the appetizers are always less appetizing after such declarations.

I am in a clear minority with my disdain for the declared "triers". These are good sensible people, just a bit too free flowing with personal information. My own mother-in-law chastised my husband and I after we announced the impending birth of her first grandchild. First, she said "Oh that is wonderful" quickly followed by, "You NEVER told us you were TRYING". Seriously? Really? How awkward is that? True, we told no one we were "trying". Especially our parents. It never occurred to either of us that it was a matter of public record. Apparently, if you do not make a declaration of intent, then any offspring produced (from undeclared coitus) will be considered "happy accidents". Its a strange world we are living in people.

Fully aware that "outing" my dislike for this public declaration of a private matter may make some of my friend readers wonder if they are the ones I am referencing. Lets leave it at perhaps, but really this is a general issue that has been overheard in bookstores, coffee shops, and malls. I say talking sex as a general issue is fine, talking about the sex you are having and its end game strategy...unsavory, disconcerting, and upsetting to a creative mind (no one wants to picture it). So that is the the issue that has been "trying" my delicate sensibilities, for the last several years. I know the world will not change for one quirky person. Perhaps now that many friends and acquaintances have declared their families "complete" (as have I). This "trying" problem may be coming to an end. Well, a girl can only hope.

Oldies, but Goodies (for sure)

First, I apologize for my title. No one mentioned, or vaguely referenced, is actually "old". Lately I have have been blessed with the opportunity to meet up with some friends from my elementary, high school, and college years. These were separate occasions, but here are the lessons I have learned.
  • The first is, time really does not matter that much. Not being one to be great at keeping up with people in the past, I approached these opportunities with some hesitation, maybe some guilt for not being a better, more connected friend. At one point the guilt and associated embarrassment would have kept me from reaching out at all. Somewhere after age 35 many of these insecurities just fell away. Not so much a "who cares" attitude, but more of a "wake up silly, this is fun your missing" thing. The years seem to fall away when you see an old friend, the old "lingo" jumps into the conversation, the mention of embarrassing moments of long ago are suddenly just "tears on your cheeks" funny. I certainly will not let time pass like that before meeting up again.
  • Another lesson is, life is not a contest that is being judged. Yes, for years I lived thinking, "I don't want to see people from the past until ___________". So the blank changed often. It was career goals, pant size, kids... you get it. All those things that we want, some happen, some do not. The blank is "the PLAN" fulfilled. Funny thing is that "the PLAN" changes. What I wanted at 22 is nothing I even care about today. I have heard people say "Life is what happens while you are busy making plans". Absolutely. When meeting up with old friends I discovered all of these people have beautiful lives. There is no one way to have a beautiful life. Each person has many blessings, along with some struggles. Just like me. Just like life. We talked about the good stuff, sympathized about the struggles, and laughed about both. Never once did judgement play a part.
  • As a person that can be a bit vain at times, it would be remiss to not mention that all of the ladies I have reconnected with are aging like fine wine. Honestly, maybe because the hair was so awful in the 80's, anything would be improvement. These ladies all look fabulous. Perhaps its because all the insecurities of youth are gone and it helps cast a radiance upon a person. Whatever it is, no kidding, these gals are approaching the "cougar" years looking good. Their spouses, significant others, and potential somebodies (for the single ladies) are lucky to have women that are so beautiful, on the surface and more importantly on the inside. These are "oldies, but goodies" for sure. (But really not so much on "oldies" thing.)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Word...Its Wednesday

I love words. I am loquacious and verbose. Fancy words, odd words, and swear words are among my favorites. Those who say a person who uses profanity has a poor vocabulary really needs to meet me. Often, throughout my life, I am asked to clarify or define what I am saying because I tend to go big or go home when getting my point across. So in an effort enhance your vocabulary I establish, Word...Its Wednesday. Each Wednesday I will bring you a not often used word or one that often needs clarification. It will be defined, spelled phonetically (if needed) and used in a sentence. Then you, my intellegent reader, can do with it what you may.
Pon-tif-i-cate (you can sound that baby out). Noun. 1. To officiate as a pontiff 2.To speak or act in a pompus or dogmatic way.
Sentence using definition 1. Pope John Paul the second will always be my favorite pontiff.
Sentence using defintion 2. Harold will pontificate all night about his recent discovery in the field of astrophysics. Someone refresh my drink, now.
Word...Its Wednesday.

Monday, June 14, 2010

It's a Cats Life

I do not envy many people. All of us have a share of joy and sorrow in life. Nobody has everything, everybody has something, and nobody has nothing....that is what I know for sure. I am also sure this applies to people only. My cat, Yoda, has it all, in spades. She gets up when she wants, eats when she wants, sleeps when she wants, gets attention when she wants. She owns us. She owns the house. Furthermore, she owns our hearts. I envy Yoda, she has it all figured out.

A sweet little Himalyan cat from a small pet store called Fish & Friends (she was one of the friends) came into my life almost 16 years ago. I was young, living in a new place, and wanting something to be responsible for, but clearly not ready to reproduce. My parents gave me Yoda (that does not sound very responsible, but at the time it was HUGE). Yoda, has become a pet, a character, and the voice of all negative things. Yes, Yoda gives voice to all the bad things that we will not say. No, she does not really talk (I do have a grip on is a tentative one, but a grip none the less). However, since the day she arrived at the house of two newlyweds to this day as she lives with a family of four, Yoda is the devil's advocate. Lately, since she is getting on in years, my beloved wondered aloud, "Who will spew the venom once Yoda is gone?"

Who indeed? Who will mock us when we do not have a cat to mock each other through? Yoda has called my beloved cheap, angry, egotistical, and a plethora of other awful things. When Yoda insults someone it is funny. Likewise, Yoda has called me a bad cook, frigid, a b****, and more hideous things. Everything said through the cat is funny. Yes, there is the sting of some truth, but mostly she is the perfect channel for saying something mean, and not having to own it. Yoda, speaks truth. The kind of truth that carries no consequences. Yes, this is odd, but it works. It is impossible to be angry with a fluffy little cat. Even if that cat tells you that you clothing choice is "questionable, at best" (yes, she is a stylist at times). A cat that was our first child, marriage counselor, and a house pet...and the voice of all things that can not be said by non-furry mammals with pointy ears. How will we ever cope without her? I guess we will just need to take extra good care of her and hope she lives as long as her namesake. I am certain there is not another cat that can replace her. It is a cat's life...indeed.

Disorderly Conduct

There is a falsehood about me amongst my friends and acquaintances. People think I am quite organized. Where they got this idea I do not know, but this misconception keeps perpetuating itself. Maybe because I always wear a matching pair of shoes, well the shoes match each other, not always the outfit. If the shoe criteria makes me organized then the bar is set pretty low and there are hobos that are also "organized". As a professional volunteer, I get asked to be on different committees, head up various activities, and generally be an organizer of stuff. Since in general, nothing dissolves into a giant mess and things (by the grace of God) tend to work out fine, I get credited as being "the organized one". If I were to rank organization in my skill set it would not be high on the list, maybe a 5 out of 10. Don't ask what my "10 "skill is, I am not sure, but it is not organization. What I have come to realize is people mistake my ability to keep many plates spinning at once for being organized. Really my ability is to control chaos. Not stop chaos, just keep a lid on it. Plate spinning may actually be the skill that scores a 10 in my skill set, but its no party. Sadly, plate spinning does not translate into tidy closets, balanced check books, clutter free counters, or anything that looks really great from the outside. Plate spinning gets stuff done. The presents get wrapped, the carpool gets covered, the dinner gets made, the activities planned, and somehow the men with the white jackets pass by without knocking on the door. This constant circus act translates into people thinking they are meeting a first class organizer, but truly they are seeing a sideshow freak in action. Most people live in place of constant plate spinning, the to-do lists that never seem to end, the job, the family, the house, the activities...lots of plates, and little time. And desperate need for matching running shoes, so all the plates can keep spinning.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Magic of Friday

Friday has always been and will always be my favorite day of the week. It does not matter if you have to work weekends or not, Friday is still a great day. As a former waitress and retail salesperson I have worked many weekends and still loved Friday, even when carrying trays of food & drink. This is not a unique to me, it seems almost everyone loves Friday. Proof is in the "status updates" on a certain social network. Lots of TGIF's and "ITS FRIDAY". And then there is always a Thursday post where someone is lamenting because "thought today was Friday...S#!^". So I have been thinking about why is this the case? Friday has just as many minutes as Monday (perhaps the most loathed day of the week). The weather is not guaranteed to be any better on this day than any other. Why the celebration? Why didn't The Cure write a song called Wednesday I'm in Love? (random info. I am currently listening to Friday I'm in Love) Here is my theory for Friday's popularity.

Schools teach Friday love. In my youth it was "Filmstrip Friday". Yes, right from elementary school Friday gets treated special. I can recall may afternoons in my small town school sitting in the dark watching film strips or the reel to reel movies. It did not matter what the subject of the films were, there were always 25+ little faces staring at a screen and one slightly frazzled teacher sitting near the peak of light coming through the shades grading papers. This tradition still exists with DVDs and TV's on carts rolled into classes (or mounted on walls). I have been that slightly frazzled teacher grading papers, and even in that moment the magic of Friday is still strong. It as if Friday adoration is part of the core curriculum in all school districts. The math and reading standards can change but not the reverence for this day.

Its not just sitting watching movies on Friday at school. I also recall popcorn Friday. Where if you brought a quarter in you could get a bag of too salty popcorn served up by some exhausted PTA mom (who was also very glad it was Friday). I am sure in some way this was a fundraiser for the PTA so the kids could get buses for some field trip. This was just one more way to make Friday stand out for kids...teaching us to revere this day.
Certainly, each of you also have some special memory or reason for liking Friday. Maybe its the "payday" aspect, or pizza night, or date night, or the night out with friends. I am sure if you think back far enough you will find that the roots of your Friday love, your TGIF spirit, or whatever you call it, was found in some darkened classroom, or playing on an "extra recess", or eating popcorn, on any given Friday in your youth. Enjoy the magic of Friday.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I am not afraid to admit ignorance. See, it just happened (so evolved and enlightened). Being ignorant is not the same as being stupid. The ignorant are aware of their lapses in knowledge or information. The stupid are not (but somehow continue to speak and function like humans) thus, being ignorant of their own stupidity. I digress, so get comfortable with that. Well here is my current bit of cluelessness. This whole blog. I thought this is simple and "easy peasy". Well sometimes you do not know, what you do not know. I read several blogs, and apparently I could share them with you and I will when I figure out how that thingy works. I also realize that I may not be a "follower" of these blogs, even if I read each post faithfully. Live and learn people. So here are some other things I am pretty darn ignorant about...
1.Smart Phones. I feel pretty lame pulling out my phone when I get a call if others are around because I push the green phone button and start talking, while others swipe and swirl and twist their far superior mobile devices (and then start talking). I have only recently started texting, because I had to get a phone update and it has a "qwerty" (also had to look up "qwerty" at one point). I do not have an "app" for anything, and if I did I would not figure it out until right before some crazy update would change the whole thing. So enjoy your smart phones. Have fun changing your status from anywhere on the planet. Check your restaurant "app" (while I look at some flyer I picked up off the street). I am fine hitting my green phone button.
2.E*bay, Craigslist, and the lot. I do not know how to sell stuff online. I have never purchased anything from an online "swap shop" (for lack of a better descriptor). Many people have brought up in casual conversation how much money they have made sell stuff online. Many have boasted of great finds and deals (concert tickets, Disney passes, collectibles) from private people at online sites. I understand the idea, I nod and feign excitement for their great fortune, but in the back of my mind I think, "garage sales and want ads". Garage sales I understand. Put a price on all your unwanted items, set up tables, post signs, and see what happens. Want Ads, look in the paper see what others are offering, call, and make a deal. Call me crazy, I just do not do the online swap.
3. Video Games. Until the Wii came out I had no clue how people could sit and thrum buttons, and wiggle joysticks for hours on end. Yes, that sounded a bit saucy, and I am leaving it (PG-13 is my comfort zone). I can handle the wild waving, jumping, shaking, and the like that is necessary for Wii games. Your up, your interacting with others, you may even hit the other players (guilty). It makes sense its a good time. The sit on your bum type, don't get, never will.

So in short, I am a techno-dolt at heart (and now fully outted). I am ignorant to so much of the web, computers, hackers, USB ports, connectivity, and most of the other tech terms. My domain is the written and spoken word. I love new words, the power of words, and sharing ideas in print. So this admittedly ignorant, neophyte blogger will be stepping out of her comfort zone and learn something (many things) new.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

By Popular Demand (not really)

More than one of my friends has told me "You need to write a book" or "You need to start a blog", well people in the later win. I am blogging "This Particular Brand of Crazy". I have a point of view about just about everything. I see humor in almost everything. You will be getting my observations about daily life type things. It is not likely that I will be following Oprah's advice for a year and blogging about it (someone beat me to it...I would not have done well with that anyway). I will also not be doing crazy stunts or wild adventures just to have something to write about. Its the "everydayness" of everyday that will be my "take". And everyday is pretty funny, silly, and worth poking some fun at, even if its the day you have to mow the lawn, or clean the gutters. I have also promised to keep the husband and the kids out of This Particular Brand of Crazy is all me.